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Fugitives from Justice

Federal Defense Attorney Explains Laws on Fugitives from Justice

federal fugitives from justice lawsAiding a fugitive from justice is illegal under both state law and federal law in the United States. In fact, those who are accused of helping a fugitive in any way – whether that involves concealing a person or running away to avoid giving testimony – can face very serious criminal charges.

Those who attempt to escape prosecution can also be charged as fugitives from justice, and can also face serious consequences if they are convicted.

Fugitives from justice who face federal charges are often at risk of being subject to more serious penalties than those who are accused of violating state law. Federal criminal defense attorneys can provide representation to defendants accused of breaking federal laws by trying to evade prosecution or by aiding prisoners in the escape process– but defendants need to make sure their attorney knows the federal laws well and has experience representing clients in federal court to respond appropriately to charges.

LV Criminal Defense can provide the advocacy and advice defendants need when faced with federal charges as a fugitive from justice or for aiding a fugitive. We have represented defendants in Arizona, Utah, California, Oregon, and Nevada who have been charged with federal offenses and we can put our extensive knowledge of the federal penal code to work on your case.

To find out more about the ways in which our firm can help you, give us a call today.

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Federal Laws On Fugitives from Justice

The federal laws that define criminal conduct related to fugitives from justice are found in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 49. This Chapter of the federal code contains four statutes defining different types of unlawful behavior, establishing the elements of each offense, and imposing penalties. The relevant statutes include:

  • 18 U.S. Code section 1071: Concealing person from arrest: According to 18 U.S. Code section 1071, a defendant can be found guilty of concealing a person from arrest if a warrant has been issued or arrest process has begun and the defendant is aware a warrant or process has been issued. A prosecutor would need to prove both that the defendant knew of the warrant and intentionally helped the person who the warrant was issued for to avoid apprehension by taking steps to help prevent his discovery and arrest. If the warrant is issued based on a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty for concealing a person from arrest is one year imprisonment. If the warrant was issued based on a felony offense, the maximum penalty for concealing a person from arrest is five years imprisonment.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1072: Concealing escaped prisoner: Willfully harboring or concealing a prisoner who has escaped from the lawful custody of the attorney general or who has escaped from the lawful custody of a federal penal or correctional institute can result in a conviction under 18 U.S. Code section 1072. The potential penalty includes up to three years of imprisonment.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1073: Flight to avoid prosecution or giving testimony: Moving in interstate or foreign commerce for purposes of avoiding prosecution, avoiding being confined after conviction, or avoiding giving testimony in criminal proceedings can result in charges under 18 U.S. Code section 1072. The potential penalty could include up to five years of imprisonment. Violators can be prosecuted for this offense in the federal judicial district where the original crime was said to have been committed or where the defendant was held in custody or confinement or where the defendant was located when evading service of process.
  • 18 U.S. Code section 1074: Flight to avoid prosecution for damaging or destroying any building or other real or personal property: Defendants can be convicted for flight to avoid prosecution for destroying property if a defendant moved or traveled in interstate or foreign commerce with the intent to avoid custody or avoid confinement under conviction. Penalties could include up to five years of imprisonment. A defendant who is charged under 18 U.S. Code section 1074 can be prosecuted only in the federal judicial district where the original underlying offense was said to have been committed or in the district where the defendant had been held in custody or confinement.

Whenever you have been charged under any of these statutes, it is important that you know what a prosecutor is required to prove for your specific crime. If a prosecutor does not prove every element of that particular offense, you should be acquitted on the charges that you are facing.

Because there are different penalties for each of the different statutes in 18 U.S. Code Chapter 49, as well as different definitions of each particular offense, it is helpful to make sure you talk with an attorney early on when you have been charged so you can understand the specific details of the crime you have been accused of committing.

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Getting help from a Federal Criminal Lawyer

Whether you have fled to avoid prosecution or giving testimony, or whether you have been accused of concealing a person from being arrested or concealing a convicted prisoner, you need to understand how the law applies to your situation and you need to understand what your options are for defending yourself against serious federal charges.

LV Criminal Defense is very familiar with laws found in Chapter 49 of the federal penal code and we know how to defend you against serious accusations that you could face if you’re accused of violating this part of federal law.

We can work closely with you to evaluate the evidence, determine if the prosecutor can prove different elements of the offense, and develop and implement a sound legal strategy. To find out more about the ways in which our federal criminal defense firm can help if you live in California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada, Utah, or surrounding areas, give us a call today.

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